Council Meeting Information & Schedule
Code of Conduct Bylaw
Members of Council and Council Committees have a responsibility to the community to ensure they behave appropriately and ethically when dealing with matters that relate to their positions. Code of Conduct Bylaw 1540 outlines ethical behaviour for elected and appointed representatives, and the standards serve to enhance public confidence.
Council Meeting Information
Whitecourt Town Council and Administration encourages all members of the community to attend Council Meetings! Town Council Meetings are held the second and fourth Monday of each month in Council Chambers at the Forest Interpretive Centre— 3002 33rd Street. (With the exception of the months of July, August and December.)
- Meetings are scheduled on the 2nd and 4th Monday of the month at 7:00 p.m.
Regular Council meetings are open to the general public. Closed Meeting sessions, or ‘In-Camera’ Meetings, are closed to the general public. Per the Municipal Government Act (MGA), In Camera discussion is limited to matters where disclosures could be harmful to personal privacy, individual or public safety, law enforcement, intergovernmental relations, or economic or other interests; reveal confidential evaluations, local public body confidence, or advice from officials; or disclose information that is subject to legal privilege.
Prior to each Council Meeting, Visitor and Delegation presentation and Public Hearing, the Chair will read statements informing everyone in attendance of the meeting process and guidelines.
Public Input Session
Please refer to information above about temporary changes to the Public Input Session during the COVID-19 pandemic. Council Meetings are temporarily being held electronically during the COVID-19 pandemic. Public Input Session submissions will only be accepted in written correpondance during this time.
All Regular Meeting of Council includes a Public Input Session. The purpose of the Public Input Session is to provide a venue that allows community members the opportunity to voice opinions and to bring attention to pertinent local issues. Council may ask for clarification regarding matters presented by public members, however this session is not intended as a forum for debate.
- Members of the public addressing Council shall write their name, address, and topic they will be discussing on the provided sign-up sheet, and shall begin comments by stating their name and home address for the official Meeting Minutes.
- Public members are not permitted to discuss matters that include personnel, legal matters, land issues, or items that have previously been discussed at a Public Hearing.
- Public Input Session issues shall be either: accepted as information; referred to Administration for further information; or, referred to Council for further discussion.
For more information please contact the Legislative Coordinator at the Town Office at 780-778-2273.
Submitting An Item For Council’s Regular Meeting Agenda
If you have an item you would like included on a Council Meeting Agenda, a request in writing, including relevant details, must be delivered to the Legislative Coordinator by 12:00, noon, on the Wednesday prior to Town Council’s Regular Meeting. Requests should be addressed to the Mayor or Whitecourt Town Council. Send or drop-off requests to the Whitecourt Administrative Office located at:
5004 – 52nd Avenue,
P.O. Box 509 Whitecourt AB T7S 1N6
Ph: 780-778-2273 Fax: 780-778-4166
Attention: Executive Assistant
Individuals who submit letters and other information to Council should be aware that it may be included on the agenda and that any personal information contained within their communications may become part of the public record and therefore made available through the agenda process which includes publication on this website.
Visitors And Delegations - Addressing Whitecourt Town Council
Individuals and organizations can address Whitecourt Town Council at a Regular Meeting, provided prior arrangements have been made. A written request, including relevant details, must be delivered to the Legislative Coordinator by 12:00, noon, on the Wednesday prior to Town Council’s Regular Meeting. Requests should be addressed to the Mayor or Whitecourt Town Council.
Send or drop-off requests to the Whitecourt Administrative Office located at:
5004 – 52nd Avenue, P.O. Box 509
Whitecourt AB T7S 1N6
Ph: 780-778-2273 Fax: 780-778-4166
Attention: Legislative Coordinator
"Visitors and Delegations" present information to Council and all comments must be directed to the Chair. Presentations are limited to 15 minutes. Council may ask questions of Visitors and Delegations following presentations; however, Council will not debate nor enter into dialogue with Visitors and Delegations. Once all Visitors and Delegations have presented to Council, the meeting will proceed to Agenda Item "Business Arising from Visitors and Delegations." At this time, Council may choose to discuss information presented by Visitors and Delegations. Prior to voting on motions regarding presentations made to Council, the Chair will summarize Council’s discussion and may ask the presenter if he/she has anything further to add. Additional comments are restricted to one minute.
A Public Hearing is held in order for Council to receive comments from the public. All Public Hearings are advertised in the Whitecourt Star and on the Town website, and all area residents affected the proposal are notified. At a Public Hearing, any person present who believes his/her interest is affected by the proposed bylaw shall be given an opportunity to be heard.
New Participation Procedures for Public Hearings & Meetings during COVID-19 public health restrictions - In effect until further notice
In response to the current COVID-19 public health restrictions, Whitecourt has implemented procedural changes and all public hearings and meetings will now be conducted by way of electronic communications.
Whitecourt will utilize Zoom video conferencing platform for Council Meetings and Public Hearings as of April 12, 2021. The meetings and hearings will be livestreamed and can be viewed via YouTube.
During a public hearing, Council will hear from the applicant and/or agent, and from any person who claims to be affected by the proposal or wishes to make representation.
Participation in public hearings may be achieved using one of the following methods:
1. WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS:
- MAKE YOUR PRESENTATION TO COUNCIL VIA LETTER OR EMAIL
Individuals are encouraged to submit their comments in writing. Comments can be emailed to email@example.com, or dropped off at the Town Administration Office located at 5004 52 Avenue Whitecourt AB (after hours letters can be dropped off in the mailbox at the front door of the Town Administration Office). Letters can also be mailed to 5004 – 52 Avenue, Box 509, Whitecourt, AB, T7S 1N6. Only letters that are received by the deadline will be accepted, please ensure that you allow sufficient time for delivery. Letters must include the following information:
- Name of Applicant, Application, or File Number, and Date and Time of the Public Hearing(s) you are making comment on
- Your Name
- Your full mailing address and legal land description
- Purpose of your letter (i.e. indicate whether you are making presentation as the applicant, agent, or as an affected person, and indicate whether you are in support or opposition of the proposal, or providing comments for consideration.)
Letters/email submissions must be received prior to 12:00 noon the Friday before to the meeting. Written comments received after the hearing is closed will not be considered by Council. Please Note: all submissions will be considered to be part of a file that can be viewed by the public at any time. It is recommended to confirm receipt of any email submissions.
2. VERBAL SUBMISSIONS:
- VIDEO CONFERENCE: MAKE YOUR PRESENTATION TO COUNCIL VIA ZOOM
In order to participate via Zoom, you must have internet connection and a compatible electronic device such as a smartphone, tablet, computer or laptop. If using a computer/laptop it will need to have microphone and speaker capabilities or a headset (a video/webcam is also recommended). Please ensure you test your system prior to the Public Hearing -https://zoom.us/test
- CONFERENCE CALL: MAKE YOUR PRESENTATION VIA PHONE
Participants wishing to participate by video or conference call must register by email to firstname.lastname@example.org and include the following information:
- Name of Applicant, Application, or File Number, and Date and Time of the Public Hearing(s) you are attending
- Your Name (you must use the same spelling when registering and when signing in)
- Email address
- Phone number (for contact purposes in case there are technical difficulties during the hearing)
- Your purpose for attending (i.e. indicate whether you are making presentation as the applicant, agent, or as an affected person, and indicate if you are speaking in support of, or in opposition to the proposal, or providing comments for consideration.)
- Intended Submission Format (indicate whether you wish to participate via Zoom or via Phone)
Deadline for registration is prior to 12:00 noon the Friday before to the meeting. Late registrations will not be accepted. Once registered, an email with detailed instructions will be sent to you within 48 hours of the scheduled hearing date and time.
Public Hearing Information for in-person meetings (discontinued until further notice depending on COVID-19 public health restrictions)
Public Hearing Information Open House:
Prior to a Public Hearing, Town Administration will schedule an Information Open House to provide residents with clarification and further information on the topic of the Public Hearing. Information Open Houses will be held at 6:45 p.m. in the foyer of the Forest Interpretive Centre (near the front entrance). You are encouraged to attend and ask for clarification from Administration prior to the Public Hearing.
Public Hearing Procedures:
When addressing Council at a Public Hearing, always begin your comments by stating your name and address. All comments must be related specifically to the subject of the noted bylaw and must be directed to the Chair. Council may ask questions of you following your comments, however Council will not debate nor enter into dialogue with the Public at the hearing. The order for presentations will be as follows:- those in support of the proposal;- those opposed to the proposal; and- any other person affected by the proposal who wishes to be heard.After the Public Hearing, Council will resume the Regular Council Meeting. The issue discussed at the Public Hearing will then be discussed at the next scheduled Policies and Priorities Committee, and then forwarded to Council for a decision.
Policies and Priorities Committee Meeting
Community members are encouraged to attend Policies and Priorities Committee Meetings. Policies and Priorities Committee Meetings are held the third Monday of each month (except for July and August) at 4:00 p.m. in the boardroom located downstairs at the Town Administrative Office.The Committee provides a forum for all members of Council to discuss community issues. Its role is to:
to receive delegations, providing an informal exchange of information and ideas.
to allow for a Public Dialogue Session.
to receive requests for review of policy or confidential issues from Council, the Mayor, any Councillor or the Chief Administrative Officer, and to investigate, and review the following areas:
Key issues facing the municipality
Setting of priorities
Financial planning and budget
Legal services and agreements
to submit policy recommendations to Council.
A Public Input Session has been incorporated into the beginning of this meeting to provide a venue for community members to voice opinions and to bring attention to local issues. Residents are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity. See the Public Input Session - Terms of Reference for further information.